June 21st, 2020
March 30, 2020 - April 3, 2020
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The Tube is the world’s leading exhibition for the pipe industry and thus the most important showcase for all professionals manufacturing, processing and using pipes. Focal product groups are including raw materials, pipes and fittings, machinery for pipe manufacturing, process technology tools and related tools, measuring, testing and control technology, profiles and associated equipment as well as used machines for the mentioned areas. In addition, the trade with pipes made of various materials is a major part of the show. As a pure fair for trade visitors it attracts international experts, specialists, innovators and of course, the world market leader of the industry and shines with cutting-edge trends and innovative technologies ranging from pipe production to processing and pipe accessories. The Tube is regarded as trailblazer for a booming industry and provides experts with the answers to the challenges of the future. The fair takes place every two years in Dusseldorf in conjunction with the wire, the international trade fair for the wire and cable industry, and has become internationally well established with offshots in Russia, India, Southeast Asia, China and Arabia. 

Industrial heat recovery, industrial heat exchangers and heat transfer technology systems are the focus of the WTT-Expo, which will be held for the first time as a trade show parallel to Tube Düsseldorf from 7 to 9 December 2020.

Tube is the world’s leading trade fair for the tube and pipe industry, which will take place from 7 to 11 December on over 50,000 square meters and attract around 31,000 trade visitors from 130 countries to Düsseldorf.

With more than 118.000 square metres net and 2,686 exhibitors, wire 2018 and Tube 2018 are bigger than ever before.

What happens in Tube?

The content synergy between WTT-Expo and Tube 2020 consists in the component ‘heat exchanger tubes’, the corresponding (welding) production processes for heat exchangers and, in general, the component ‘tube’ in process plants with regard to the visitor target groups of technical, operation and maintenance managers as well as technical buyers and planners.

Reason enough for Messe Düsseldorf to hold this three-day WTT-Expo as a trade show in Hall 7.1. as part of Tube 2020. The field of modern industrial heat exchanger technology fits in perfectly with the international portfolio of Metals and Flow Technologies with trade fairs like Tube, VALVE WORLD EXPO, Metec and Thermprocess.
At the WTT-Expo, exhibitors from the industrial heating and cooling technology sector will once again show how cost-optimized production can be achieved in this area and at the same time make a sustainable contribution to minimizing emissions.

At the WTT-Expo, primarily exhibitors from German-speaking countries and neighbouring European countries (but also the USA) are expected to present systems, equipment, products and services from the industrial heat exchanger and heat transfer technology sector.

The trade fair’s comprehensive range of products and services extends from planning and construction to commissioning and the complex field of maintenance.

Young, still small market with high dynamics

At Tube 2018 1.246 exhibitors from all over the world presented their developments and solutions like raw materials, tubes and accessories, tube manufacturing machinery and process technology tools and auxiliaries for example. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), electric vehicles are suitable for the market. A “young, still small market with high dynamics” has developed around e-cars – even though vehicles with combustion engine technology currently still dominate the global automotive market. Suppliers of the wire and cable industry are already picking up speed and see e-mobility as an opportunity.

“The market potential is enormous,” Wafios emphasises. “Accordingly, the forecasts are positive.” For this reason, e-mobility became the focus of the company’s attention already some years ago. “Technical triggers were enquiries from the automotive sector, both on the OEM side, supplier level and in the equipment sector about three years ago,” explains the supplier of machines for bending wire and tubes. E-mobility picked up speed.

However, the industry is still “clear and concentrated on a few market participants”, explains Wafios. According to AlixPartners Global Automotive Outlook 2019, the global market share of electric drive units in terms of vehicles sold amounted to 2.7 per cent in 2018. A share that is clearly expandable, which is shown by the growth rate of the e-drive of more than 65 per cent. Thus, according to Outlook 2019, the market is speeding ahead “in the irreversible market run-up”.

According to the VDA, electric mobility is coming faster than many expect. One reason is, for example, the tightening of regulations and the improved incentive systems for electric mobility in order to reduce CO₂ emissions. For example, there will be no new registrations for conventional drives in Norway from 2025 – the sale of electric cars will be promoted with massive tax incentives. The Netherlands, Ireland and Israel want to use only emissions-free vehicles from 2030. A sales ban on combustion engines is planned from 2040 in Great Britain and France. In the USA some states, such as California, plan to permit only emissions-free cars from 2040. In order to get their act together, suppliers have to target these figures.

Globally, a drastic increase in hybrids and electric vehicles can be expected between 2020 and 2025. The VDA predicts that “by 2030 a production share of electrified vehicles of 60 per cent or more worldwide is likely”. China will be a pioneer here – every third vehicle could be fully electric by 2030. In Western Europe, the share could rise to 25 per cent due to stricter regulations and driving bans. According to the association, a breakthrough in Africa and South America is not to be expected so soon. For Japan, Korea and North America, a share of hybrid vehicles of around 80 per cent would be conceivable. The car world is electrified – a realistic view.

What to expect

Car manufacturers and automotive suppliers must therefore make massive investments: The AlixPartners Global Automotive Outlook 2010 reports that at least 202 billion euros will have to be spent globally over the next five years to master the technological change to the electric drive and the development, production and marketing of up to 300 planned new e-vehicles. “The level of investment is still out of all proportion to demand,” says Dr Elmar Kades, Global Co-Lead Automotive and Managing Director at AlixPartners. At the same time, the current and expected weak sales development for the next few years will increase the short-term pressure on the margins and cash flows of the suppliers, Kades continued. Weak sales and massive investments therefore coincide.

Even though the situation is challenging, the wire and cable industry remains optimistic. “Electrically powered vehicles promise higher sales for our company because more or higher quality cables are needed,” explains Leoni. Hybrid vehicles, in particular, which contain both an electric and a combustion engine, require a higher product share from the company.

High-quality cables are required in various areas of the electric car: In the charging cable from the charging station to the vehicle system and from the charging connection to the battery. Lines finally transport the electricity via the inverter to the electric motor. The internal wiring supplies other high-voltage components, such as air-conditioning compressors or electrical heating, with energy. Electrifying outlook…

Leoni is focusing, in particular, on the high-voltage battery as an energy storage device for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The company concentrates primarily on data and power distribution within high-voltage batteries. “We assume that the HV battery in future vehicles will contain parts of the previously exposed high-voltage cable harness due to its large-area arrangement.” The aim is to offer customers system solutions for battery cabling from a single source. Together with its partner Diehl, the company is working on offering complete solutions. Already established products of both companies in areas such as cabling, connector systems and cell contacting would be combined to form a complete package. This means that sustainable strategies are needed.

Trumpf is also experiencing electric mobility as a growth-promoting driving force. A central role is played by a new laser, the development of which the laser specialist has accelerated in the course of its e-mobility strategy and which, according to the company, is proving to be very suitable for welding copper. Copper is considered to be the most important material for conducting electricity and an electric car would be inconceivable without it. With the new laser, copper can be efficiently welded, for example, for the high-performance electronics of electric cars. “The shift towards electromobility offers great opportunities for German industry,” emphasises Christian Schmitz, Managing Director for Laser Technology at Trumpf. The company expects further growth for its own business as a result of the changes in the automotive industry. Compared to the previous year, the company’s sales of products and solutions that flow directly into electromobility have doubled. “20 per cent of our order intake from the automotive industry now comes from electromobility, twice as much as last year,” Schmitz continued.

Changing times require flexible suppliers – the right curve position is crucial. You must bear in mind that the exhaust gas and fuel system, the combustion engine and the low-voltage vehicle electrical system are not required for the less complex electric drive. Instead, they must adapt to electric motors, cooling systems for electronics and batteries, chargers, a high-voltage electrical system and a PTC heater – components that sometimes require high-performance wires and cables to prevent vehicles from stuttering.

The changes associated with the switch from combustion to electric vehicle technology are therefore fundamental and affect products and processes. “Competencies such as blow moulding, pipe extrusion and machining technology are also becoming less important, while processes such as winding processes and forming techniques for parts made of aluminium and magnesium are gaining in importance,” explains the VDA. In order to continue on the road to success, the wire and cable industry must therefore flexibly steer in the right direction. Then it will head full speed towards high profits.

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